Community pays final respects to fallen Macon-Bibb firefighter Lt. Randy Parker
The funeral service for Lt. Randy Parker was a celebration of life. While this is a sad and tragic moment for the Macon-Bibb Fire Department and the community, it was also an opportunity to remember a man who died doing what he loved and pay tribute to those who put their lives in danger everyday.
A hero who died while serving and protecting.
“Being a fireman is not something you do. it’s someone you are. It’s not a career that’s chosen, it’s a calling that chooses you,” Pastor John Woods with Christ Chapel Sportstowne said.
A calling fallen Lt. Parker was proud to answer.
“Please know he was a strong leader. He was doing what he loved to do,” Macon-Bibb Fire Chief Marvin Riggins said.
Hundreds of people filled the Macon City Auditorium Monday to pay their final respects to Lt. Parker and his family.
“On behalf of a grateful community, we extend our deepest and most sincere condolences to you for your loss,” Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert said.
The loss of a husband, father, son, and brother to his fellow firefighters.
“God, thank you for putting Lt. Randy Parker in our lives,” Parker’s friend and Suffolk, VA Fire Chief Cedric Scott said.
It was a time for grieving, but also an opportunity to thank those who put their lives in danger everyday.
“It allows us to pay tribute to a group of people who don’t always get the thanks that they deserve,” Macon-Bibb Commissioner Elaine Lucas said.
Only time will help the family and community cope with this tragedy.
“I pray healing will occur, happiness will return to your family, to this department, and to our community,” Reichert said.
Riggins believes Lt. Parker would want everyone to move forward.
“He’d want us to lift our heads up, pull your boot strings up, suit yourselves up, ’cause we must carry on, because that’s the way Randy would like for it to be,” Riggins said.
His fellow firefighters gave one final salute to a man who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“Yes, Randy will be missed. But more importantly, Randy will be remembered,” Riggins said.
Lt. Parker served with the Macon-Bibb Fire Department since 1990. He was actively involved with his church, Christ Chapel Sportstowne. He also volunteered with MDA, United Way, the American Cancer Society, and the Macon Cherry Blossom Festival.
The last Macon-Bibb firefighter to die in the line of duty was in 1997.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations be made to the Lt. Randy E. Parker, Jr. Memorial Fund, c/o State Bank or Macon’s Fireman’s Credit Union, 899 Oglethorpe Street, Macon 31201.
Parker is survived by his wife of 14 years, Sandie Parker, and sons Andrew and Chandler Parker, along with several other family members.
He was laid to rest at the Glen Haven Memorial Gardens.